Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by Wadsworth, Jul 27, 2006.
Jul 27, 2006
Any suggestions on a theme for the first week of preschool? I am teaching 4 year olds.
All about me is always a good way to start. They can cut magazine pictures to make a collage about things they like. They can create a self-portrait. You can play name games so that everyone is introduced. Have them draw a picture of what makes them special.
Vanna has GREAT ideas! I'm using a lot of her ideas from the website for Back-to-school and All About Me.
I do just about a full week of Back-to-school and then we start on the All About Me stuff for 2 weeks. I incorporate a lot of name activities.
During the first 4-6 weeks I am so consistent with the schedule and what I expect of the children. I think this makes all the difference with the children learning the routines/expectations so that YOU don't have to spend the day "policing" the children! I try to use the same words so that the children internalize it.
The children imitate a lot of what you do in class. So, I speak in a very soft tone so that my classroom will not be LOUD! We also do a lot of loud soft/silent listening and speaking activities for the first few weeks so that they learn to modulate their voices in the room. One of my favorites is the Silent ABC song. We start out singing the ABC song, then we whisper it, then we sing it silently. After we do that a few weeks whenever I say, "Let's sing the silent ABC song." The kids will immediately start mouthing the ABC song. Quiets the class instantly!
I will usually pair the children up if I notice that they are not circulating the room and getting to know their friends after about the first 2 weeks of observing. I take LOTS of observation notes. I use these notes to supplement my lesson plans with the small group and individual activities I choose for the children.
On the first day, I am having the children draw a picture, anything they like and I'm hanging these along with photos for our "First Day of School" board. I like to have it all ready for when the kids and parents return for the next day. I try to make sure I include a photo of each step of the day so that I can use them for our "picture schedule." They are so excited to see themselves around the room.
We also have free centers, I just don't have too much stuff in each center. We also visit each center to learn what is expected behavior and how to use the materials. We do have a meet the teacher day so that helps the children know what the class will be like. The class is all set up so they get to find their cubby, take a picture with their parents (I have these developed before school starts and pictures up for the children to see). I also use them to make a class book to share on the first day of school.
For the first month of school I take so many pictures! I have new pictures up weekly. After that, I usually hang new photos almost everyday, it just might not be pictures of the whole class! At least 3-5 prints a day. I just love my digital camera and Wal-mart!
Jul 28, 2006
Collect photos for each child throughout the year and create small scrapbooks as their year-end gifts! It was quick and easy (I bought them in the dollar bin at Target) and the parents LOVED them. They said it was the best gift they'd ever been given!
Jul 30, 2006
I bought a book at Early Elementary Conference this weekend that I thought gave some very good ideas on All About Me. It's called The Complete Daily Curriculum for Early Childhood by Schiller and Phipps published by Gryphon House. It gives songs, stories, poems, music, center ideas, recipes and Reflection questions you can use. I plan on just using bits and pieces.
All about me is a great first topic. I have also introduced the year with My Family, which include siblings (graphing) and pets.
Jul 31, 2006
Thanks for some of the ideas. I had planned on posting the About Me theme to answer the original question but I found that so many had beat me to it. I'm glad I kept on reading because it was like some of the ideas I read were just for me.
Aug 9, 2006
My centre rotates each year from "Me, I'm Special" to "My New Friends & Me" to "My Family". For the my new friends and me theme we make paper cut outs of girls and boys and the children decorate them and we make a circle of friends on the wall that usually stays up all year. We add to it if new friends join. We also take pictures of the kids and they add a handprint with paint to it. This goes on a wall with the title "My New Friends & Me". For the my family theme I send home a large piece of paper and a note asking for each family to make a "Family Banner". Each family member must add their hand print, photos, stickers and decorations. Each banner when it is returned is one of a kind and the children are so excited to show them off to their friends. We have a "Family Night" and then everyone gets to look at all of the banners.